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2020 Ballot Recommendations

2020 Ballot Recommendations

Download a PDF of this grid to use & share!


UUJMCA is excited to share our 2020 California Ballot Recommendations. After consultation with several local and statewide organizations & collectives, and deep reflection on how our values call on us to engage the proposed initiatives, we have put together this grid of recommendations, including our own, for you to be able to make an informed selection. We are releasing these now with an understanding that more information may become available as we get closer to November 3rd. However, due to the statewide vote-by-mail opportunity and concerns regarding delays in the postal service, we have opted to share this grid as it is, with the intention of updating it should anything significant come to our attention.

A few notes on our reasoning around certain propositions:

Proposition 19 – Property Tax Transfers
Proposition 19 is essentially a revitalization of the 2018 ballot’s Proposition 5, which California voters rejected. It increases the number of times that “eligible homeowners” can transfer property tax values to more expensive homes from one to three times, which would worsen the inequity in our current property tax system. Individuals with qualifying disabilities and victims of wildfires would remain limited to one transfer of their existing tax value.

Proposition 25 – Replace Cash Bail with Risk Assessments
UUJMCA remains committed to ending the practice of cash/money bail in California. The passage of Senate Bill 10 in 2018 was a watered down version of legislation intended to end cash bail in California. What was passed in 2018 essentially replaces the cash bail system with a “risk assessment” system to determine if individuals facing criminal charges can be given pretrial release and under what conditions. These “risk assessments” are hardly an improvement, as there are no clear guidelines for these assessments, thereby leaving assessments up to the discretion of local courts, a process which would inevitably lead to the continuation implicit racial bias and racism against black and brown people in our criminal justice system.

The American Bail Coalition has been fighting against SB10 in its original and current form, and has led to it being put on the ballot as a veto referendum for California voters to decide. Our partners and frontline communities have a range of responses to Proposition 25. While there is consensus that the passage of SB10 was a watered-down or sideways move in dismantling systems of mass incarceration, there are varied opinions regarding the referendum to veto it. Ultimately, we at UUJMCA have decided that its passage DOES demonstrate that there is an urgent and moral need to shift away from a cash bail system that is cruel and biased as it exists. Therefore, we have chosen to recommend a “Yes” vote on Proposition 25, with the intention of demanding training and accountability on implicit bias and systemic racism for anyone who is tasked with determining individuals’ “risk level” under this new system, and with the intention of continuing the push for an end to cash bail in California.

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Archived: 2020 Ballot Recommendations

Archived: 2020 Ballot Recommendations

The Unitarian Universalist Justice Ministry of California posts ballot recommendations as a service to its supporting congregations and members. These are free to use by any UU or congregation, however, and please feel free to download the November 2020 ballot recommendations.

Our complete list of ballot recommendations, with selected justifications, is available here. While we are not able to do direct education or advocacy for these propositions, we are thrilled to be able to share opportunities for those interested in learning about and supporting certain ballot proposition movements that align with our values as an organization and as Unitarian Universalists. Links to some of those efforts are below!

Yes on 15! Schools & Communities First

California voters have an opportunity to enact real economic justice on our ballot this November. UUJMCA is proud to support the “Schools & Communities First” Proposition (Proposition 15), which will put $12 billion dollars back into schools & communities every year by closing a commercial property tax loophole. You can learn more about this initiative, its impact, and its protections for homeowners, renters, small businesses, and agricultural land by going to yes15.org.

Sign up to phone bank with Schools & Communities First in key parts of California here. Every phone bank includes a training and support staff!

Yes on 17! Free the Vote!

Currently, 50,000 Californians who have completed their prison sentence do not have the right to vote. Proposition 17 will restore the right to vote to people who have finished their prison term and who deserve to have a voice in our democracy. Biases in the criminal justice system mean that poor people and people of color are more likely than others to be convicted of crimes and to lose their voting rights, while wealthy people can always afford the best lawyers. We can’t have an elected government that represents all of us when some groups are being excluded from our elections and denied the ability to participate in our democracy.

Visit yeson17.vote learn more about the Free the Vote effort and find out how to spread the word about this proposition’s potential to end one form of voter suppression in California!